Last week, the LA Valiant awed fans as they upset the Shock 3-1 in a dominant fashion. Whether that was a fluke or a product of the week’s hero pool will be decided this week in a California Cup rematch.
The hero pools for the week exclude Wrecking Ball, McCree, Mei, and Brigitte. This will be a defining factor for the meta, as well as roster selection.
Shock vs LA Valiant (2-2)
Saturday April 4 at 8pm EST/5pm PST
Last week, the Shock were not careful enough and underestimated the Valiant. Los Angeles upheld their reputation as giant-slayers. In 2019, the undefeated Titans fell to the Valiant in Stage 3, and the Houston Outlaws upset the golden Shock in the same stage. The Shock had been looking meta-proof until the young LA roster swept the rug out from underneath them.
The Shock were insistent on running a Reinhardt-Zarya tank line that was relatively fruitless. Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey negated two of Hyo-Bin “Choihyobin” Choi’s Graviton Surges, and the Shock were stuck in a roster predicament. Jay “Sinatraa” Won seems to be their best Zarya player but had less-than-stellar showings on the other tanks. With him in that role they get pigeonholed into that one particular composition, which gives the opposition plenty opportunities to adjust.
With Lucio back in the hero pool, Reinhardt compositions should see a return, but damage will be unable to go to the Mei-McCree duo that has been prevalent so far this season. Tracer is likely to return since Brigitte and McCree are banned. Support lines should see Lucio return, likely alongside Ana. The Shock roster could throw a curveball and have Min-ho “Architect” Park on Ana like they did in week one, hoping to keep the Valiant on their toes. Either way, the Shock are the team with something to prove this weekend, and will need to do much more if they hope to win.
Prediction: Shock win 3-2
Player to Watch: Sinatraa
Reigning league MVP Sinatraa is having so-called Profit syndrome – the team needs him to play two positions at the same time. His Zarya was outclassing Choihyobin, yet that hero choice was questionable no matter what. If he spends this match on DPS, the team could call on his skills once more to shred enemy backlines as Tracer or Doomfist. Whatever their decision, he should play a crucial role and be a player to keep an eye out for.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).